New airline routes launched (7 May – 13 May 2019)

El Al Tel Aviv to San Francisco 

El Al San Francisco

El Al launched flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco on 13 May. Pictured cutting the ribbon in Tel Aviv before the inaugural departure are Michael Strassburger, VP Commercial and Industry Affairs, El Al; Yisrael Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel; and Gonen Usishkin, CEO, El Al. The airline will operate the city pair three times weekly.

  • El Al launched its newest transatlantic service on 13 May, commencing a three times weekly connection between Tel Aviv (TLV) and San Francisco (SFO). The carrier will serve the 11,916-kilometre airport pair using its fleet of 787-9s. Competition comes from United Airlines. The Star Alliance member is already serving the route daily this summer using its fleet of 777-300s. It too used to fly the route using 787-9s, before upgrading its services to the higher seat capacity given by the 777-300 on 1 April. El Al will further expand its US route offering later this year, launching flights from Tel Aviv to Las Vegas in June, while a seasonal link to Orlando is scheduled to commence in July. The carrier has also confirmed more flights to the US for 2020, with Chicago O’Hare services expected to begin in March next year. Closer to home, the airline will add a new European service on 26 May when it resumes operations to Manchester, a destination it last served from Tel Aviv in 2001.

Loganair Edinburgh to Bergen, Guernsey and Stavanger

Loganair launched flights from Edinburgh to Bergen, Guernsey and Stavanger this week, while a route to Islay was added back in March, taking to four the number of new routes which the airline has added from the Scottish capital for the S19 season. Pictured with the crew, and the amazing route launch cake, celebrating the new services are Jonathan Hinkles, MD, Loganair and Gordon Dewar, CEO, Edinburgh Airport.

Loganair Bergen

Bergen Airport also celebrated its new link with Loganair by baking a cake, choosing the mystical create of the Lochness Monster as its culinary creative inspiration. The carrier will link Bergen to Edinburgh three times weekly this summer using its fleet of E135s, with no other operator presently serving the route according to OAG schedules.

Aberdeen Airport cake

Aberdeen Airport also got creative with cake for its latest route launch with Loganair. On 12 May, the regional carrier commenced a 17 times weekly service between the Scottish city and London Southend.

Loganair Southend

Loganair introduced London Southend to its network on 12 May, launching a 17 times weekly service from Aberdeen. Pictured at the launch celebration at the London airport along with crew are Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chamber of Commerce; Jonathan Hinkles, MD, Loganair; and Glyn Jones, CEO, Stobart Aviation.

  • Loganair continues to expand its network, launching six new routes between 9 and 12 May. Edinburgh (EDI) was the biggest beneficiary, seeing three new services to Bergen (BGO), Guernsey (GCI) and Stavanger (SVG). Along with Edinburgh, Aberdeen (ABZ) saw the start of a 17 times weekly link to London Southend (SEN), with the latter becoming a new destination for the airline. Humberside (HUY), also a new airport operation for the operator, and Bournemouth (BOH), where Loganair started its newest flight from last week, also saw expansion from the carrier. None of the six routes launched will face direct competition. 
Launched From To Aircraft (WF) Competition (WF)
09-May Edinburgh (EDI) Bergen (BGO) E135 (3)  
10-May Stavanger (SVG) E135 (4)  
11-May Bournemouth (BOH) Guernsey (GCI) E135 (1)  
Edinburgh (EDI)  
Humberside (HUY) Jersey (JER)  
12-May Aberdeen (ABZ) London Southend (SEN) E135 (17)  
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 14 May. WF = Weekly frequencies.

The rest of this week’s new routes (A – Z by airline)


airBaltic launched flights between Riga and Menorca on 12 May, a route it will operate using its A220-300 fleet. Pictured with the route launch cake at the inaugural flight ceremony in Riga are Wolfgang Reuss, SVP Network Planning, airBaltic; Liene Freivalde, Director of the Aviation Service and Business Development, Riga Airport;aura Audariņa, Route Development Manager, Riga Airport; and Mantas Vrubliauskas, Network Development Manager, airBaltic.


airBaltic also added Kos to its network on 11 May, with Riga Airport baking this beach-themed cake to celebrate the new route to the Greek island. Flown weekly (Saturdays), the route faces no direct competition.

  • airBaltic launched two new routes from Riga (RIX) on 11 and 12 May, starting with a weekly (Saturdays) 2,248-kilometre route to Kos (KGS). The carrier will face no direct competition on the route to the Greek island. The following day, a 2,374-kilometre service to Menorca (MAH) was inaugurated. Also flown weekly (Sundays) this summer, it too is a route that will face no direct competition based on OAG Schedules Analyser data. Both destinations will be flown to using the carrier’s fleet of A220-300s. Kos and Menorca become the fourth and fifth new routes for the airline from Riga this summer, having begun services to Dublin, Lviv and Stuttgart on the opening week of the S19 season. 

Buta Airways

Buta Airways launched flights between Baku and Ufa on 12 May, a route it plans to operate twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) using its fleet of E190s. To celebrate the airline’s arrival, Ufa baked a welcoming cake.

  • Buta Airways launched flights from its main base at Baku (GYD) to Ufa (UFA) on 12 May. The carrier will serve the 1,624-kilometre route twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) using its fleet of E190s this summer bases on OAG Schedules Analyser data. Competition on the airport pair comes from NordStar, with it offering a weekly (Fridays) rotation using its fleet of 737-800s.


JetSMART launched twice-weekly flights between Buenos Aires El Palomar and Tucuman on 7 May. Pictured at the launch ceremony are Dario Ratinoff, Commercial Manager, JetSMART; Sebastian Giobellina, President, Tucuman Tourism; and Juan Luis Fernández, Minister of Productive Development of Tucuman.

  • JetSMART, which recently entered the Argentinian market, launching two domestic routes in the nation last week. On 7 May, the carrier initiated a twice-weekly (Mondays and Thursdays) service between Buenos Aires El Palomar (EPA) and Tucuman (TUC), although the inaugural departure took place on a Tuesday. The carrier will serve the 1,062-kilometre route in direct competition with Flybondi which also operates a twice-weekly service. On 9 May, the airline initiated services on a second domestic connection, this time between Neuquen (NQN) and Mendoza (MDZ). The 681-kilometre link will also be served by the carrier twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays), facing direct competition from Aerolineas Argentinas which provides a daily link on the city pair. Both new routes launched by JetSMART this week will be served using its fleet of A320s.

Norwegian Billund

Norwegian launched flights from Billund to Ponta Delgada on 7 May, becoming the Danish airport’s ninth new route this year. Other new destinations which have been, or will soon be, added to the airport’s departure boards this year include Dublin (launching 28 October), Faro, Edinburgh, Prague, Krakow, Kiev, Timisoara (3 September) and Vienna. Norwegian opened its base at Billund Airport on 1 April, and it now operates seven schedules routes from the airport.

  • Norwegian, which opened its base at Billund (BLL) at the start of the S19 season, has introduced a further two scheduled routes from Denmark’s second busiest airport. On 7 May, the LCC launched services to Ponta Delgada (PDL). The carrier will serve the 3,265-kilometre route weekly (Tuesdays). On 11 May, the airline introduced a weekly (Saturdays) operation on a 2,445-kilometre sector to Faro (FAO). Based on OAG Schedules Analyser data, neither route will face direct competition at the time of launch, and both routes will be flown using 737-800s. With this launch, it brings to seven the number of scheduled destinations that Norwegian flies from Billund. It also operates to Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, Oslo Gardermoen and Palma de Mallorca. Along with these scheduled services, the airline also operates charter flights to Chania, Kos, Rhodes and Zante on behalf of Bravo Tours, one of the largest travel agencies in Denmark.


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